My father has cancer and his transition is near.
Helping my Mother who has been the principal in nursing him over the past six months has taught me many things both about my father but also myself.
He has shrunk yet also grown, that contradiction born from the image of a strong man I would behold in wonder through child and adulthood, to that of an emaciated giant (yet not to be pitied!). A heart of a lion with courage that sets my own in the shade. Where did such strength of character come from? I wish I had but a morsel of it!
The transition of human, from the physical to spirit, is no stranger to me, yet how is it I crumble, break down and cry, at the very thought, when it is my own loved one? The answer is grief. Hard wired within us and a natural process not to be suppressed but to be liberated. How then? Some deal with grief in different ways. For me it is through sharing and bringing forth! Through the process of remembering the man that was, in contrast to the poor, dishevelled, worn and yet somehow more serene figure that now lies in front of me. Through realising and sharing with my family the tragedy of it all, both in its circumstance as a consequence of the disease itself and also the effect the impending loss will have upon our family as a whole.
It was soon after his diagnosis that I noticed the spirits of my Nanna and Grandad ( long since passed) standing by my father. “We are here for him” they said. I thought that meant an impending departure but no, it represented a presence (for the duration). Through thick and thin they have been there, and towards the end they are joined by others. Work colleagues, friends, and more prominently so my brother, alongside my parents near enough everyday since his own passing 27 years ago!
What message then for others? A simple analogy! He would not leave us unless he had to. Yes life is unfair. We do not want him to go and neither does he wish to leave but he has lived his life and his time has come. Here lies a man in his final hours/days who knows? But love prevails. Through periods of lucidity then incoherent rambling, love prevails! Something else too. Humour! Yes throughout the difficulties of his condition he has the humour to make light of his limitations and we are hard pushed to reciprocate! Such valour! Such grit!
Is it fair to torture ourselves by dwelling on all the wonderful things he would or could have done had he been given more time? No. This is not the way…
I once had a vision that our spirits descended to the physical world in a kind of lift/elevator with others. Some we would return with, but not all. Upon arriving here we would all start shopping around (fascinated by the variety in the ‘shop window’ of the world around us), but the message was made clear by my Guide, we do not have time for shopping if we wish to make full use of the time available to us, before the lift/elevator takes us back up!
Looking back on my father’s lifespan in contrast to this, made me think about his own time with us and realise all the positive aspects that were the result, the weddings he had been to, the christenings, the holidays, as well as the negative aspects such as the passing of his own parents, my brother, and job/family set- backs. On reflection I could see balance and this was as it should be. For that and every memory we could share of him, I and my family should be grateful.
What had been shopping in his life and what had been beneficial or spiritual gain? I don’t know all, that’s for sure. What I do know is that in the elevator that I saw ascending in my vision, I could only see the spirits of people, of all ages, gender and nationality and not a single shopping bag was amongst them!
I can only hope that my experience brings some comfort to others with loved ones who are ill or suffering. Remember the positive aspects and draw strength from them for the passage ahead, be as brave for them as they are facing the fear of their illness, and offer them not your pity but your love, as strong as ever from your life-bond with them.
Peace be with you.